The past two decades have seen a significant change in the color of the world’s oceans, with climate change a likely culprit, according to scientists.
A team of scientists from MIT, the UK’s National Oceanography Centre, Oregon State University and the University of Maine has detected changes in over 56 percent of the world’s oceans that natural variability can’t explain.
The color of the ocean is a direct result of the organisms near the surface, and scientists are pretty sure it has to do with climate change, they write in their study published in the journal Nature.
According to Stephanie Dutkiewicz, one of the study’s co-authors and a senior research scientist at MIT:
“I’ve been running simulations that have been telling me for years that these changes in ocean color are going to happen. To actually see it happening for real is not surprising, but frightening. And these changes are consistent with man-induced changes to our climate.”
“The color of the oceans has changed. And we can’t say how. But we can say that changes in color reflect changes in plankton communities, that will impact everything that feeds on plankton. It will also change how much the ocean will take up carbon, because different types of plankton have different abilities to do that. So, we hope people take this seriously. It’s not only models that are predicting these changes will happen. We can now see it happening, and the ocean is changing.”
Read the full study here.